Fresenius deceptive trade practices lawsuit filed by State of Louisiana remanded to state court

posted on:
January 23, 2015

author:
Staff

A lawsuit filed against dialysis giant Fresenius USA by the State of Louisiana alleging cardiac risks associated with some of the company’s dialysis solutions has been remanded to state court from federal court. The action comes just weeks after a similar lawsuit filed by Mississippi in multidistrict litigation (MDL) was remanded to state court.

Personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits in the MDL against Fresenius allege the company’s dialysis solutions, GranuFlo and NaturaLyte, were improperly labeled and caused elevated levels of bicarbonate to build up in patients’ blood, leading to serious risks including sudden cardiac arrest.

Both Mississippi and Louisiana attorneys general successfully argued that no diversity jurisdiction exists since the lawsuits were brought only on behalf of the states and not individuals, and made only state claims.

Louisiana’s lawsuit seeks to recover payments made through the state’s Medicaid program for GranuFlo and NaturaLyte. Louisiana accuses Fresenius of deceptive trade practices and fraudulent marketing, and claims the company knowingly made misrepresentations regarding the safety of their products since at least 2004.

“The Defendants purposefully advised their own clinics, practitioners, and physicians of the dangers of the product, but did not advise non-Fresenius clinics, practitioners, and physicians of the increased risk of (cardiopulmonary arrest) associated with the use of their products,” the State’s Petition reads. “Additionally, despite the knowledge that their product was unreasonably dangerous, and at the very least required an adjustment of the acetate value when entering the value in the operating settings in preparation for patient treatment, the Defendants continued to submit claims, or caused to be submitted claims, for reimbursement from the State of Louisiana in order to be paid for goods and services that they knew or should have known were of substandard quality.”

Louisiana’s case is ordered to be remanded to the Nineteenth Judicial District Court, in the Parish of East Baton Rouge, where it was originally filed last June.

Beasley Allen lawyers are working on the Fresenius litigation on behalf of the State Louisiana in the Parish of East Baton Rouge, as well as private plaintiffs in the MDL. For more information about this case, contact Dee Miles, Principal & Consumer Fraud Section Head, or attorneys Lance Gould, Alison Hawthorne or Roman Shaul.

Lawyers in our Mass Torts section also are looking at claims related to serious injuries or deaths following use of GranuFlo or NaturaLyte products during dialysis. If you have a question or possible case, please contact Beasley Allen attorney Frank Woodson.

Source: Law 360

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